NDSM is a former shipyard in north Amsterdam and is the center for alternative culture these days. This vast area of 84,000 m2 makes up the NDSM Hall, workshops and artistic studios along with two big dimension cranes and two huge ship slipways.
The Dutch Dock and Shipbuilding Company (NDSM) was a shipyard for shipbuilding, ship repair, and engineering in Amsterdam which existed between 1946 and 1979.
In 1946, two of Amsterdam’s shipyards for shipbuilding namely, Nederlandsche Maatschappij (NSM) and Dok Nederlandsche Maatschappij NV (NDM) merged into a new site under the name, Nederlandsche Dok en Scheepsbouw Maatschappij (NDSM). NDSM concentrated mainly on cargo ships and tankers. In 1978, the government thought that it should be closed down and this prompted the end of shipbuilding for NDSM.
In 2000, a group of artists, theater people, skaters and architects who call themselves Kinetisch Noord, approached the local council with a plan to redevelop the former shipyard. Their plan was to turn NDSM into the largest hotbed for artistic talent in the Netherlands.
These days, the area is used as a space for summer festivals and artists that work together for various creative projects. The huge site is also used for different exhibitions houses and among others, a main warehouse building with two huge cranes (one is partially destroyed) and two slipways (which also has space under it). Here you can also find student housing, a popular bar, the MTV studios, and a submarine.
Kunststad, which means “Art City”, or the big blue doors building, like I used to call it, is a complex of artist studios and workshops connected by a network of long broad streets and narrower side streets. It houses theater groups, dance schools, music studios, project rooms, experimental programming and exhibition spaces. Yet inside the more exciting spot is the floating skate park that stands seven meters high.
I always find it inspiring when I find myself totally absorbed on whatever I’m working on the computer and suddenly someone starts playing piano, even though classical music isn’t really my favorite music style. Sometimes it can be hilarious, when instead of soft piano music, I hear people screaming like crazy. For a second, I always think that something bad is happening and then I realize that it’s just the theater people!
Here you can breathe in art at all times; you can find pieces of art in every corner from sculptures to graffiti.
The creative underground environment makes the area so special and unique emphasizing its big contrast with the city centre.
NDSM wharf can be easily reached with the free GVB ferry service at the back of central station. It’s travel time is approximately 15 minutes.
For more info on NDSM visit http://www.ndsm.nl/
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